Impact of COnstructing Non-motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel
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Home | case study sites | 4. Itchen Riverside Boardwalk, Southampton
4. Itchen Riverside Boardwalk, Southampton

case study sites

4. Itchen Riverside Boardwalk, Southampton

Why important?

The Itchen Riverside Boardwalk provides a safer and more pleasant North-South route to Southampton's city centre, railway station and football ground.


The River Itchen runs right through Southampton. Whilst its lower reaches are occupied by shipyards, upstream the river runs through parks and open spaces which are the lungs of the city. The hope of a wonderful route leading through to the city centre had been frustrated for years by a short section at St Denys where the mainline railway comes down onto the riverside itself. Before the new path was built it was not unusual to see commuters picking their way along the edge of the high tide margin to reach the station.

C2 Southampton under construction

With the assistance of Network Rail, a raised boardwalk has been created to continue a riverside path right through to the Southampton Football Ground and the city centre. At high tide the water will be lapping close to the level of the elevated path and at all times the route looks out over the estuary. This route connects the edge of the city to the centre; links residential areas to places of work; and connects people to the river and the sea.

Who's involved delivering the scheme

Sustrans Connect2

Southampton City Council

Network Rail

Start and duration

Construction of the elevated riverside path started right after the Easter holiday in 2010.

C2 Southampton opening overview

The riverside boardwalk was officially opened in a well attended ceremony in September 2010.

C2 Southampton opening view from North gate

Itchen Boardwalk opening ceremony September 2010 (Photo: Yena Song)

Who's involved from iConnect

Yena Song, Karen Ghali, Chris Mair, John Preston (TRG, University of Southampton)

Case study type

Large urban

Walking and cycling

Utility and leisure

Progress and outcomes

Site monitoring is on-going with both the City Council and Sustrans being involved using automated cycle counters and user intercept surveys (employing the newly developed iConnect version of the Sustrans user intercept survey).

The pre-intervention population survey was administered in the spring of 2010. This provides iConnect researchers with a baseline picture of travel patterns, physical activity and carbon emissions at the local population level. The first post-intervention follow-up survey is administered in spring 2011. This asks the baseline respondents about their travel, physical activities, health, and neighbourhood perceptions intending to examine the impact of the improved walking and cycling facilities in the area.


Go to Connect2 site: Itchen Riverside Boardwalk, Southampton

site by Christian Brand, ECI